Today’s brew: Eggnog flavor. Because not only did I actually FINISH a carton of eggnog for once, but I longed for more.
A few things let you know you’ve arrived as an author. If you are me and those things are incredibly subjective and change all the time. Anyway, some really excellent stuff has happened to me recently, and I can’t hold in how grateful and proud and overjoyed and humbled and a little terrified I am.
I say an awful lot to folks, be your own biggest fan. Everyone is their own worst critic–but you’ve got to be your own biggest fan too. You have to stand by your work, your vision, and admit that yeah, you love your book! It’s not snooty, it’s TRUE and if it’s not then you should love your book. That way the not-so-super reviews don’t hurt, and the rejections roll off a little easier, and the imposter syndrome fades now and again.
And yet I cringe writing this because HOW SHOWOFFY DO I SOUND, RIGHT? WHAT A JACKASS. It’s a struggle for me to talk about myself, to be honest, and that’s what therapy is for. But I want to share with you guys some of the coolest things that have happened to my book world recently that I just cannot shake the surreality (surrealness? surrealitude?) of:
- I HAVE HOLLYWOOD AGENTS. That’s seriously true. WME, who reps the NHL and the NFL, Oprah, and you know…me.
- A MARVEL WRITER REPS ME. Yeah, you heard me. Brendan Deneen at Assemble Media reps my vampire books. I read Night, Night, Groot to my kids, and wake up to the author being my agent. So, basically I’m a member of the Marvel universe now.
- I HAVE A HARDCOVER BOOK. Seriously, this to me is pretty indescribable. To grow up treasure hunting through a dusty library basement for that feeling of a good hardcover in my hands to having one with my name on it… Well, you can get one if you want: The Harpy
- I SPOKE TO A TON OF MIDDLE GRADE STUDENTS AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL I WENT TO AND MY SON GOES TO NOW. Despite the implications of the #nofilter pic above, I was neither cool nor popular in middle school. I was WEIRD when it wasn’t cool. My favorite book was Rambo. I had really, really bad hair. I got beaten up and spit on and bullied in a hundred ways. To stand up and talk to a group of kids that age, my kid’s age, in the place where it happened, and to say, “No matter what you think of yourself now, your voice matters. To someone out there, and most of all to you,” to think I’d have the confidence or even something to say at all, was life-changing. I mattered that day a lot to all the right people.
- I GOT AN AMAZING PIECE OF FAN MAIL. Someone told me that after a traumatic loss, my book was what made her able to read again. I think I’m the big fan of hers now for doing that for me.
- I HAVE AN AUDIBLE DEAL! I got an actual payday is what that means and I got to audition voice actors?! What? Who gets to do that? You can preorder The Harpy, narrated by the perfect Helen Laser for another day or two before it’s live! PREORDER THE HARPY AUDIOBOOK HERE
- BOX SET! My vampire books have a box set! You can get it, too. If you want. Running Home and Running Away box set. This is my Artist-Formerly-Known-As The Shinigami Vampires series, and my new publisher said, “Julie. Nobody can even say that word.” Same books, new more normal title with The Vampires of Fate.
- NEW PUBLISHER! I tell ya, it was fate that this wonderful writer, David Purse, and I started gabbing about collaborating on something and before I knew it, his publishing company took me under their wing and put all my dreams into action. Inked Entertainment is a genuinely noble organization that I’m incredibly lucky and honored to be a part of.
In addition to all this amazing book stuff, I’ve also happened upon the perfect part time job–like the perfect part time job for another noble company with a noble vision, and I put together an incredible Christmas event for the school I run the book fairs at that brought our community together in a beautiful way. And in another crazy twist of fate, I won a raffle at my brand new job–getting a healthy donation for a non-profit of my choice, and it happened to be this wonderful little school! Everything has fallen into place.
In a moment of being my own biggest fan, I will take my own advice: Good things happen to good people. I work at being a good person, and I like to think goodness finds me. In the people I know, in the way my work is received, in the lives that touch me. And more is to come.
But I’m still a scary frigging fruitcake, so trigger warning on that Harpy book, there, folks.